There is a lot of shift happening around how we understand, conceptualize, and/or describe God in this postmodern and postcolonial world. Whether we call it emergent, progressive, the way of the heart, post-theism, spiritual but not religious, or “nones” (those who are unaffiliated with any organized religion) – most of us can articulate what no longer works (e.g., “a god out there somewhere made in our image,”); but struggle with finding words, or even conceptualizing God for the 21st century.
We’ll be talking about all of this in my lesson on Sunday, “The God Question.” But another way to approach the whole issue is let the mind rest and simply “practice the presence of God” as described by Brother Lawrence (1614–1691), a French Carmelite monk of the 17th century.”
As observed by writer Ellyn Sanna, “At its heart, Brother Lawrence’s practice was simply Zen—a focus on the present moment in order to wake up, to be able to see the Light.” Following are some “modern paraphrases of Brother Lawrence’s ‘maxims,’ that offers some simple encouragement to be ourselves and to be aware of God’s presence:
I don’t practice any particular prayer discipline. I have no specific technique I use to meditate. If every moment I’m consciously practicing love, doing all things for God’s sake, then I don’t need to worry about these spiritual methods.
My thoughts are the biggest obstacles to this way of living my life. The little useless thoughts that drift through my head, making mischief, distracting me. I’ve learned to reject them as soon as I notice them. They have nothing to do with the reality at hand—nor with my eternal salvation—and once I stop paying attention to them, I can get back to communing with God.
I have abandoned all particular forms of devotion, all prayer techniques. My only prayer practice is attention. I carry on a habitual, silent, and secret conversation with God that fills me with overwhelming joy.
I can’t always maintain my focus on God, of course. I’ll suddenly discover that I’ve barely given God a thought in a good long while. Usually what gets my attention is that I’ll notice how wretched I’m feeling—and then I’ll realize I’ve forgotten God’s presence. But I don’t worry about it too much. I just turn back to God immediately. And having realized how miserable I am when I forget God, my trust in God is always that much greater.
The Divine Presence occupies the here and now. If you are not aware of this—become so!
Read the whole article which comes from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, July 15, 2021. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#search/richard+rohr/FMfcgzGkZQKtpxkCBssVSTXBmNtrBjWQ